Rowland Dudley DAVIS was working as a stockman from Bunbury WA, when he enlisted for service in the Great War, on 6th January 1915. He was appointed to the 10th Australian Light Horse Regiment 2nd Reinforcements on 16th February, by Second Lieutenant Hugo Throssell ( Victoria Cross Medal Winner ), at Blackboy Hill WA. Three days later, he embarked from Fremantle on the troop ship ‘ Itonus “, arriving in Alexandria Egypt on 17th March 1915.
Rowland trained for two months in Egypt, before embarking from Alexandria with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Forces, en. route for the Gallipoli Peninsula. He had survived a number of the horrors that pervaded Gallipoli at the time, then he was seconded to take part in the heroic, fateful charge at The Nek. Rowland Davis was killed in Action at Walkers Ridge, being among 37 Officers, NCO’s and 10th Light Horse Regiment men, who were killed in the attack on Turkish trenches at the Nek on 7th August 1915.
17th November 1915- Letter from Army Base Records to Mr. E.A. Davis, Stirling Street Bunbury WA :- ” With reference to the report of the regrettable loss of your son, the late No. 718 Private R.D. Davis, 10th Light Horse Regiment, I am now in receipt of advice which shows that he was killed in action at Walker’s Ridge , at Gallipoli Peninsula , on the 7th August 1915. These additional details are furnished by direction, it being the policy of the Department , to supply all possible information in connection with deaths of members of the Australian Imperial Force “.
The Davis family were awarded the following memento’s in honour of Rowland’s War Service:-
1914/1915 Star Medal
British War Medal
Memorial Scroll, including King’s Message
Rowland Dudley DAVIS is memorialized by inscription on the Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli, at Panel No. 10.
The following extracts from documentation, including a report by Lieut. Col. BRAZIER to the Board of Enquiry, are included for your information :-
AUSTRALIAN MILITARY FORCES Proceedings of a Board of Enquiry assembled at Russell Top, Gallipoli Peninsula on the 9th Day of August 1915 by order of Lieut. Colonel. N.M.BRAZIER C.O. 10th Light Horse Regiment, for the purpose of enquiring into and reporting on the Officer’s, N.C.O’s and men of the 10th Light Horse Regiment ( as per attached ) lait, reported missing since the assault on the Turkish trenches on the Nek, Anzac on the morning of the 7th August 1915.
PRESIDENT : Major Alan J Love, MEMBERS: Captain H.B. Hamlin, Lieut. P.P. Buckland
The Board having assembled pursuant to order, proceeded to take evidence:-
LIEUT. COLONEL N.M. BRAZIER. states :- ” After referring the matter to 3rd Light Horse Brigade Headquarters , he ordered the 10th Regiment which he commands , to assault in 2 lines the Turkish trenches on Russell’s Top, although at this time, there was a murderous hail of shrapnel, machine gun and rifle fire from the enemy, and felt quite convinced few if any would return. He was personally seen with a periscope , a great number of dead outside our trenches , and has caused the recovery of all those bodies, which up to the present he considers would risk further loss of life for. He is of the opinion that all the missing are dead, and further from the reports of the wounded who returned to the lines and from personal observations with the periscope immediately after the assault, that no signal individual of the 10th Regiment reached the Turkish Trenches. Subsequent to the assault the enemy were seen deliberately firing on the wounded “.
FINDING- THE BOARD FINDS:- “From the personal knowledge and belief of the two Senior Members of the Board, who took part in the assault, that no further evidence is required and are of the opinion that all these missing are killed in action ” :-
OFFICERS, N.C.O’s and MEN REFERRED TO :-
CAPTAIN. McMASTERS R.T 170. Sgt. McALIECE. E
LIEUT. HELLER. J.T 109. Sgt. FENWICK. B.M
LIEUT. JACKSON. D.A. 821. Cpl. THOMPSON. T
71. Trpr WILKINSON. J.T 157. Cpl. SHEPHERD. C
69. Trpr. BROCKMAN. H.H 384. Cpl. DU VAL. D
791. Trpr. DE NOLE. G.E 143. Trpr. WHITE. E.J
147. Trpr. SNUDDEN. W.T 141. Trpr. KIRSCH. F.W
150. Trpr. KLOPPER. L.E 142. Trpr. COBB. A.G
101. Trpr. ANDERSON. W 709. Trpr. BRADY. N.V
103. Trpr. BARRACLOUGH. H 712. Trpr. BUTLER. A.G
120. Trpr. LEWIS. J.P 113. Trpr. HARPER. G
123. Trpr. McJANET. J.B 114. Trpr. HARPER. W
125. Trpr. McRAE. G 112. Trpr. HASSELL. D.D.H
138. Trpr. MOORE. R.H.J 116. Trpr. LUKIN. D
120. Trpr. ROSS. W.A 803. Trpr. HOWELL. R
539. Trpr. DEMPSTER. P.G 718. Trpr. DAVIS. R .D
787. Trpr. COLLINS. H.A 748. Trpr. VILLIS. L
591. Trpr. SANDY. G.P.H 292. Trpr. HILL. H
860. Trpr. SHIPPER. H.T